Legal FAQs for REALTORS® — Fair Housing
Prohibiting Smoking

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Legal disclaimer

I took a listing from an owner who wants to restrict smoking in the house that he will be leasing. Can he lease his house with such a restriction? (updated Jan. 1, 2002)

Among other things, the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of a handicap. While a smoker, as such, does not fall within a readily identifiable class of persons who have a handicap, a person who smokes or did smoke could have a respiratory or other disease which could qualify as a physical impairment under the handicap definitions in the act. While REALTORS® and the owners they represent will want to avoid advertisements or lease restrictions that exclude persons who might be handicapped, an owner should be entitled to regulate the conduct required of tenants, as long as those regulations don't otherwise violate the prohibitions of the act. Owners could advertise the property as a non-smoking facility and prohibit smoking in the premises by the terms of the lease.

Legal Disclaimer: The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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